Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 123

𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬

The small lake next to the villa was clear and beautiful, with its green and blue hues changing with the light.

I like looking at the lake with the moon floating above it at night, but viewing it during the bright daylight is also pleasant.

Walking alongside Roa-sama by the lake, Roa-sama stands tall and sturdy, and even the posture while walking is graceful.

The hair, dyed brown as a disguise, reflected the light and sparkled. It resembles the color from the time with the Fourth Knight Order.

. . .Roa-sama, you have such a high nose. What do you eat to have such a well-defined face? Is it because of eating meat? Is that the secret to eating meat from morning?

Roa-sama found a stone that seemed good for skipping and kicked it up with his foot. Catching the stone that went straight up, Roa-sama smiles with a shy embarrassment.

“I’ve wanted to try this once.”

“Ah, it does seem cool, doesn’t it.”

Nodding in agreement.

Kicking something off the ground with the foot, catching it perfectly! If only there was a signature line to go with it, it would be perfect.

“If Roa-sama is skipping stones, maybe I should try too. Noble ladies rarely get the chance to throw stones.”

“Haha, right. Actually, I haven’t done it since before I was Alice.”

“Nobles don’t really throw stones, do they.”

Is it because they have guards when it comes down to it?

Roa-sama, a little distance away, threw a picked-up stone. It skipped four times before sinking into the lake, then all became quiet.

This place, far from the town and devoid of people, is reminiscent of the first time I skimmed stones with Roa-sama; you can only hear the rustling of leaves and the sound of the wind.

The lake is smaller than that time, but things like the scent of the forest and the sounds you hear are similar.

“Alice, please sit.”

Roa-sama spread a handkerchief on a beautifully grassy spot in the shade of trees. It was large, thick, and dyed in complex colors.

It’s not for wiping hands. Understanding it was brought for this purpose, I hesitated but nodded.

“Thank you.”

“I apologize for making you sit on the ground with a handkerchief. It would have been better with a chair.”

“This is sufficient.”

Really, this is enough.

To think that the royal prince brought a handkerchief to prevent my clothes from getting dirty, when I consider it, it’s quite remarkable.

“The last time we took a break like this, Roa-sama, you prepared a sofa and table. But this is better. So, please don’t worry.”

“I thought Alice would say that.”

Overwhelmed by such a gently dazzling smile, I inadvertently turned my face away. I thought I was used to being around handsome men in the Fourth Knight Order and at school, but it seems I was mistaken. 

The destructive power of a smile beam meant only for me at close range is incredible.

Or rather, isn’t it really close??

Sitting down, I’m right next to Roa-sama, our hands on the ground almost touching. I can intensely feel Roa-sama’s presence, even the heat emanating from the body.

“I thought today might be the last day we can relax before catching Dyson. That’s why I wanted to tell Alice.”

“Y, Yes.”

What is it, what will be said?

It could be something like the unavoidable marriage proposal that Rolf mentioned at school. Hearing it from Roa-sama would be painful. Just the thought is distressing.

 ㅤ

“Looking back, the important things were taught to me by Alice in the Fourth Knight Order. Therefore, I thought I should express my gratitude.”

“. . . . . .I, Is that so?”

Glad, it was different! It wasn’t about marriage!

“Just when I was about to give up, I was able to motivate myself again. I resolved to catch Dyson, started thinking about my own happiness, gained invaluable aides, and even learned to take breaks. Now, I can even tell jokes.”

“It’s Mongmosh, isn’t it?”

“It’s not just that. Lately, I’ve been learning jokes from Arthur.”

. . . . . .Should you be learning such things from Arthur?

I do want to see Roa-sama telling jokes, really want to, but now, when Roa-sama is discussing serious matters, I cannot ask.

“Thanks to everyone and Alice, I was able to obtain vital information to corner Dyson at school. Dyson, who was cautious, seems to be making mistakes out of desperation.”

“One step closer then.”

“Right. . .And then, it struck me when Alice said it. If I have a new fiancé, it wouldn’t be permissible for Alice and me to meet alone anymore.”

. . . . . .Roa-sama’s words are not wrong. The current situation, where an unmarried man and woman are alone together, is what’s odd.

It’s common to date and be in a relationship before marriage, but there are always servants present. And above all, Roa-sama is royalty. Such misleading conduct should not be tolerated.

“Can I touch your hand?”

“Y, Yes, but. . . my hands are rough. . .”

Of course, they are much cleaner compared to my previous life.

But, they are more sunburnt than a well-maintained lady’s, the nails are not even neatly groomed, maybe even a young lord’s hands are prettier.

“Look at my hands. They’re rough and hard from lack of care, hardly befitting royalty. Would you dislike these hands?”

“No. I like them.”

The honest response took Roa-sama by surprise, making his face turn bright red.

Seeing Roa-sama’s face like that for the first time, I couldn’t help but stare, and he ended up covering his face with his hands.

“Don’t look at me.”

“So cute. . .!”

“. . . . . .Alice sometimes says that, but a man prefers to be told he’s handsome.”

“But you are cute.”

With a blushing face, Roa-sama glared at me intently.

A slightly sulking Roa-sama took my hand, overlaid it with his larger one, and lifted it reverently.

“Alice is the one who’s cute. I’ve always thought that.”

Now it was my turn to blush.

Unsure how to react, I could only fluster and make inarticulate noises.

“Somehow, Alice has become the center of my heart. When I’m negative, about to break, or when I’m happy. . . . . .always, Alice smiles at me.”

“I, I’m glad I could be of help. . .?”

“With Alice, I can face any darkness, become positive. As long as Alice is here. . . . . .I am.”

My unadorned hands are treated like treasures.

Before I knew it, Roa-sama was looking at me with a piercing gaze.

My heart is loud. Pierced by Roa-sama, and it seems it cannot be removed. What pierced it, I don’t even know.

Surely, my heart must now belong to Roa-sama.

 ㅤ

“If we manage to catch Dyson and confirm that my brother is safe, I would like Alice to tell me about her sincere feelings.”

It was like a vow, a kiss placed gently on the back of the hand. Soft and unusually warm, it felt like all the nerves were concentrated in that kiss.

When Roa-sama looked up, he was gallant. The sight of his hair swaying in the wind was so beautiful, it felt irreplaceable, and involuntarily, the image of Roa-sama was etched in my eyes.

“. . . what is it?”

“That’s what it is.”

Afterwards, we both sat hand in hand, gazing at the lake. There were a few words, but it felt comfortable.

When noon came, and we returned to the villa, I spent time with Emilia. Seeing Shiro eat my food with relish seemed to inspire her to make something.

We thought about what to make together and decided on a shortcake. Emilia was so impressed with Prep-kun that I couldn’t help but make a smug face. Prep-kun is amazing!

The cake we made was enjoyed as a snack by everyone. Of course, the one made by Emilia was exclusively for Shiro.

Today was a good refreshment, and with a pleasant feeling of fatigue, I crawled into bed and suddenly opened my eyes in the dark.

“What do you mean by ‘that’s what it is’?!”

“Eek, what?”

“I apologize, Emilia-sama!”

When I asked about this day later, it seemed that Roa-sama was also rolling around in bed.

“What does ‘that’s what it is’ mean. . .! Even though I was nervous, why did I say such a thing?! Ahhhh, I want to confess to Alice again. . .!”

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